Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission
As indicated by the Honourable Member, the UK Government is currently consulting on the reform of UK copyright law. The Commission understands that the consultation document is seeking responses to the policy issues raised therein and at this stage there are no formal proposals for legislation. The Commission will continue to monitor this process including any proposals for legislation that might emerge in due course as a result of the consultation.
The UK Government has stated(1) that it is not considering going beyond the current scope of what is allowed under the Information Society Directive.
In relation to the scope of exceptions for educational purposes, Article 5 (2) and (3) of the directive provide a closed list of optional exceptions, covering, for example, exceptions from the right of reproduction ‘in respect of specific acts of reproduction made by publicly accessible libraries, educational establishments or museums, or by archives, which are not for direct or indirect commercial advantage’ (Article 5(2)(c)); and exceptions from the rights of reproduction and communication to the public for ‘use for the sole purpose of illustration for teaching or scientific research’ under certain conditions. It is correct that exceptions need to be considered in the light of the test in Article 5(5) to which the Honourable Member refers. However, the exceptions in the directive that appear most concerned with educational purposes are not conditional upon any requirement to pay remuneration and indeed are framed in rather general terms.
In light of the above, the Commission needs first to examine the details of the draft legislation before it is in a position to assess its compatibility with the acquis communautaire in the area of copyright.